Horse racing in action at York Racecourse

York Races 2024: Your Essential Guide

York Races in 2024 promises an exciting blend of top-class horse racing and entertainment for everyone. Here's a comprehensive guide to what you can expect.

Horse racing in action at York Racecourse

Key Dates and Events

  • Dante Festival: 15-17 May - The season opener with high-quality action.
  • May Spring Meeting: 25 May - A vibrant atmosphere with top-class racing.
  • June Meeting: 14-15 June - Two days of quality racing.
  • John Smith’s Cup Meeting: 12-13 July - A midsummer racing highlight.
  • Music Showcase Weekend: 26-27 July - Combines races with live music performances.
  • Sky Bet Ebor Festival: 21-24 August - The crown jewel event featuring prestigious races.
  • YorkMix Family Sunday: 8 September - Offers a mix of races and family-friendly activities.
  • October Finale: 11-12 October - The season-ending event​​.

Ticketing Options and Areas

York Racecourse offers different ticket options, each providing access to distinct areas of the racecourse with varying amenities and experiences.

County Stand: This is the most exclusive area, requiring a dress code of jacket, collared shirt, and tie for gentlemen. It offers access to various bars, the Parade Ring, and winners’ enclosure. Ideal for those seeking a more formal and upscale race day experience.

Grandstand & Paddock: A popular choice, this option offers a great mix of views and facilities, including access to the Parade Ring and a variety of food and drink options. The dress code here is more relaxed than the County Stand.

Clocktower Enclosure: Known for its relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, this area allows picnics and offers a more casual experience. It's a great choice for families or those looking for a less formal day out.

Hospitality Packages: For those looking for a premium experience, hospitality packages offer private boxes, gourmet dining, and exclusive viewing areas. Prices start from around £170 and vary depending on the package.

Children under 18 are admitted free with an adult in most areas, though terms and conditions apply, especially on music days.

Book tickets:

Buying Tickets on the Day

You can purchase tickets on the day of the event at York Racecourse. However, there are a few things to consider:

  • Advance Discounts: If you're looking to take advantage of discounts, especially for party bookings in the Grandstand & Paddock and County Stand, it's advisable to book your tickets in advance.
  • Busy Periods: The race days in May, August, and Saturdays tend to be extremely busy. So, if you plan to buy tickets on the day, it's recommended to arrive early to ensure availability and to avoid long queues.
  • Convenience: While on-the-day purchases are possible, securing your tickets in advance can provide peace of mind and potentially better pricing, especially for group bookings.

Detailed Dress Code

When attending the York Races, particularly in the County Stand, the dress code is quite specific and leans towards formal attire:

For Gentlemen in the County Stand:

  • Required Attire: A jacket, collared shirt, and tie are mandatory. A cravat can be worn as an alternative to a tie.
  • Trousers and Shoes: Smart trousers and formal shoes are the norm. While there's no strict rule against jeans and trainers, they are rarely seen in the County Stand.
  • Shorts: If the weather is particularly warm, gentlemen are permitted to wear shorts, as there is no formal restriction against them.

In the Grandstand & Paddock and Clocktower Enclosure:

  • Dress Code: The dress code is more relaxed in these areas. Shorts and t-shirts are common, especially in sunny weather.
  • Restrictions: The only restrictions are based on taste and decency. This means avoiding inappropriate styles or slogan t-shirts. Bare chests are not considered acceptable.

Special Note for YorkMix Family Sunday:

  • Relaxed Dress Code: For this family-oriented event, the dress code in the County Stand is relaxed. Gentlemen are not required to wear a jacket, collar, and tie on this day.

Find more information about the dress code at York Races on the York Racecourse website

Children and Families

At York Racecourse, families can enjoy:

  • Complimentary Entry for Kids: Children under 18 enter free but must be accompanied by an adult (maximum two children per adult). Terms apply during music events.
  • Diverse Entertainment: Exciting races, the Music Showcase Weekend, and Family Sunday cater to all ages.
  • Youth Concessions: Special admission rates for 18-22-year-olds, with proof of age required.
  • Facilities: Baby changing areas in all enclosures and a parent-toddler room offer comfort.
  • Food Options: Various family-friendly dining choices.
  • Relaxed Dress Code: Under 16s in the County Stand have no strict dress code, making it a fun opportunity to dress up.

Find more information about children and families at York Races on the York Racecourse website

Transportation and Parking

Traveling to York Racecourse is relatively straightforward, thanks to its convenient location and the availability of various transport options:

By Train:

  • York Train Station: The racecourse is about 2 miles from York train station.
  • Shuttle Buses and Taxis: On race days, shuttle buses and taxis provide efficient service from the train station to the racecourse. This makes it easy for those arriving by train to reach the racing venue quickly.

By Car:

  • Directions: The racecourse is well-signposted from all major routes, making it easy to navigate by car.
  • Sat Nav Postcode: YO23 1EX - you can use this postcode for GPS navigation.
  • Parking: There is plenty of free parking available on race days. As an added convenience, vehicles can be left overnight in the car parks and collected by 11 am the following day.

Find more information about transportation and parking at York Races on the York Racecourse website

Opening Times

For Regular Racedays:

  • Gates Opening: The gates open from 11:15 AM.
  • First Race: Typically, the first race begins between 1:30 PM and 2:00 PM.

For the Sky Bet Ebor Festival:

  • Gates Opening: The gates open a bit earlier at 11:00 AM.
  • First Race Timing: Similar to regular racedays, with the first race usually starting between 1:30 PM and 2:00 PM.

For Evening Meetings:

  • Gates Opening: The gates open at 3:30 PM.
  • First Race: The first race is scheduled for 6:00 PM.
  • Music Entertainment: Following the racing, there's music entertainment that lasts until approximately 10:00 PM.

Find more information about opening times, check your tickets and get the latest information on the York Racecourse website

Facilities at the Racecourse

  • Food and Drink: Picnics are encouraged in designated areas. Glass containers are prohibited in the Clocktower Enclosure.
  • Wi-Fi: Free network available; search for "YorkRacecourse Wifi".
  • Cash Machines: Conveniently located on the ground floor of the Knavesmire and Ebor Stands, in the Gimcrack Stand foyer, near the Frankel Statue, and in the Clocktower Enclosure.
  • Disabled Access: Committed to accessibility, York Racecourse offers various facilities. Detailed information is available on their Disability Access page.
  • Betting Options: Over 300 tote betting points, a main betting ring in front of the Knavesmire Stand, and an additional ring in the Clocktower Enclosure, plus the William Hill Betting Shop.
  • Seating: Although limited, diverse options are available across all enclosures.
  • Smoking Policy: In line with public place smoking laws; includes e-cigarettes.

Find more information about facilities at the racecourse on the York Racecourse website

Disabled Access

The racecourse has made various provisions to accommodate the needs of disabled visitors, such as designated parking areas, accessible viewing facilities, and specific entry points for easier access. For comprehensive information on all the disability access facilities and services available at York Racecourse, you can visit their dedicated webpage on disability access here.

While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, details about York Races may change. We recommend visiting York Racecourse's official website for the latest information and updates to ensure your visit is as enjoyable as possible.